Poile proposes Ruff put four Predators on ice together

Thursday, 01.28.2016 / 9:12 PM
Dan Rosen  - NHL.com Senior Writer

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators general manager David Poile doesn't typically like to meddle in the coach's business, but he had a suggestion for Lindy Ruff, who will coach the Central Division in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"He has an opportunity in a 3-on-3 format to put four players from one team all on the ice at the same time," Poile said. "Maybe he should try that."

Ruff, the Dallas Stars coach, has that opportunity now because Predators forward James Neal was added to the Central Division roster as a replacement for Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews on Thursday. Neal joins Predators goalie Pekka Rinne and defensemen Roman Josi and Shea Weber on the Central Division team.

Toews will miss All-Star Weekend because of an illness. Per NHL rules, by pulling out of All-Star Weekend, he also must sit out the Blackhawks game against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.

Poile lobbied for Neal, saying he's a deserving all-star even though he wasn't originally selected. Neal leads the Predators with 18 goals and a plus-15 rating, and his 30 points are tied for third with Mike Ribeiro behind Weber and Josi.

"Absolutely he's having a really good season," Poile said. "I think he's a great addition. He's had a good year. He's good on the 3-on-3. He's certainly all-star worthy."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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